Thursday, December 21, 2006

Newborn through seven

You sing a baby lullabies and speak in nursery rhyme.
You clap and sing with toddlers.
You make up stories and songs with preschoolers.
You watch your big kid become her own person while she masters just a little bit of everything before she decides on what she loves.

Every step of the way, Kindermusik gives you the music you can share together, while you both figure it all out. And in the Teacher's Lounge, you can find the photo you see here, and more, to help parents understand why a Kindermusik style of learning is better for everything.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What would have happened ...

... if this man right here had a music teacher who told him he could only play an instrument one way?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Close your eyes. It's Beethoven's birthday.

Via Kindermusik of Holland.

"How amazing that Beethoven composed his last and most monumental symphony at a time when he was completely deaf. He never heard a single note of his 9th Symphony (in which the chorus sings the famous "Ode to Joy.") Friends had to turn him around from conducting so that he could see the applause. When I tell this story to my Kindermusik Young Child students they are amazed. Then we do a little experiment. We sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star out loud first then silently. The children's eyes widen as they tell me they COULD hear it inside their head! Here's lot's more about Beethoven for the curious: Happy Birthday to one of my favorite composers."

Friday, December 15, 2006

To you, from all of us

I cannot tell a lie. You've grown a whole foot.

I probably would've enjoyed numbers a little more with this Pinnocchio tape measurer. Only $6.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Elf Yourself

Upload your picture, or your child's picture, and watch "elformation."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All shined up

This was the favorite snapshot of Our Kind of Day At Home Materials for the Family Time class. Dan Halpern, our Senior Graphic Designer, shined it all up. It's now online in the new Educator Store.
And while you're clicking around, take a look at the Teacher's Lounge. We recently uploaded this week's re-enrolling tip, and, we link you to re-enrolling messages of year's past.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh for cute

Psst. Hey. Kindermusik Educators. Look in the Teacher's Lounge tomorrow for this e-postcard sized graphic you can use to promote your free demonstration Kindermusik classes, storytimes, Family Time classes, or something simply to do between the fall and spring semesters.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Which one do you like?

Tell me your favorite shot and we'll upload it to the

Thank goodness for Darcie because she's taught me so much about photography, including how to take a good head shot, and product shot. This afternoon was nice and sunny, so I took the Our Kind of Day At Home Materials outside and snapped these pics (we're employee-owned, honey. We save where we can. Plus, I like flexing the old shutter-finger).

Host your own 15 minute product photo shoot:
  1. Across the street is a huge brick building. In the afternoon, the sun goes behind the building, so it's just the right mix of light and shade for a photo shoot.
  2. I fastened my white-paper backdrop to a windowsill on the outside of the building, near the sidewalk. I used rocks to hold up the paper against the windowsill, and arranged the products on the white paper.
  3. Then, I got down on the ground, real close to the products, and took pictures.
  4. The only potential hazzard was a car driving by every once in a while. Thank goodness I spent all that time as a kid playing in the streets ... so I had the good sense to know when to get out of the way.

Flyer! I hardly know her.

Recently we sent out the "research-proven reason to re-enroll" flyer, and, turns out, many Educators couldn't even open the durned thing.

I'm sorry about that.

Hopefully, one or all of the following will make it easier to open attachments and special graphics:

  • First, we made it a Web page instead of a cumbersome .pdf or .jpg attachment. Check it out.

  • Next, you may want to install, for free, a newer version of Adobe.

  • Finally, we'll start uploading these things in a more organized, findable way, soon, on the Teacher's Lounge. Major renovations are soon on the way. I'll keep you posted.

Finally, thanks for letting us know what doesn't work, so we can get it right.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bright idea


Just in time for the holidays, and for the first time ever, you can buy Do-Re-Me & You! products online in the Kindermusik store. Previously available only through home parties, you can now shop online without the small group-social anxiety at

All the marketing stuff and exclamations aside, I sincerely, from the bottom to the top of my heart, am excited about this. Ever since Do-Re-Me & You! first launched, I couldn't wait until the new products came out and I could listen to the new music and start writing copy for the new catalog. Only problem was that only the folks who could find a sitter, or find the energy after a long day at work, to attend a party were the ones who got to experience these thoughtfully integrated books and CD sets.

And it's not just some turn-em-and-burn-em collection of music; or some rock-star looking for a stroll down the revenue avenue that's growing in the Kindy genre. We've been doing this for over 25 years. And with the outstanding musicianship and percussive gifts of Jon Negus; the mind-blowing arranging talents of Barry Webb; and the amazing Berklee-grad duo who founded the Music Factory and cranked out some amazing cinematic and musical adventures with Aesop fables, and the Tortoise and the Hare.

And given that the imagination of a child has enough power to make even a spoken word story come alive, I can't imagine what's going to happen in a child's mind when he gets his imagination on some of these songs and stories. Seriously.

Some no brainer, great gifts. Check it out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In a pinch?

I've never been a cheek pincher. I'm more apt to flick a child's ear lobes or pinch their elbow skin.

But look at these cheeks. Then take a look at all the other pictures tagged chubby cheeks in flickr.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just another fascinating video from Darcie

Via Darcie Brown.

and I ran ... I ran so far away

I. am. so. proud. Within the last few days I've been getting emails from Kindermusik Educators who are filming, and uploading, video to You Tube. I've recently added their channels to my You Tube channel so I can stay updated.

This morning, Olivia Richardson sent a little something she taped at Convention: Just a few of us girls dancing with joy when convention was over. I thought I'd do a little Irish jig, and eventually, the "Running Man," which looks a little more like, "Clumsy Girl."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Walking the talk

It's one thing for a CEO to take a seat on a prestigious panel of speakers. Especially when the topic pertains to something like "social entreprenuership" at Stanford University's Center for Social Innovation.

It's another thing entirely to take a seat with a group of children who probably slept the night before at a homeless shelter; to take their picture, and to take them in your arms. That's exactly the talk, and the walk, that Kindermusik's CEO Michael Dougherty makes nearly every day.

Listen to Michael's thoughts on "social entrepreneurship" here.
You can watch him take the issue to heart in the video you see here, where Michael is visiting with a group of kids at a center located in one of Minneapolis Minnesota's toughest neighborhoods.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rhymes like Ali

As you talk with parents about Kindermusik's whole child development, from head to toe, from cognitive to physical skills, consider how one of the greatest athletes in the world--Muhammed Ali--had a penchant for rhythm and rhyme as well. Photo via Insititue of Visual Arts
I done wrestled with an alligator, done tussled with a whale
I hancuffed lighting, thrown thunder in jail
Yesterday I injured a stone, hospitalized a brick
I’m so mean ... I make medicine sick.

Changing the world, one child at a time

This year, with Kindermusik's CEO, Michael Dougherty acting as the interviewer, and with myself acting as a documentary-filmmaker, we profiled the six Kindermusik Educators in the world who recieved the Maestro in Outreach award--Kindermusik's highest honor for the Educators working in their communities, with local resources, to reach children who need Kindermusik the most.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

She must be a musician

She is. Priscilla Dunstan was recently featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and talked about the language babies use to let you know they're hungry, uncomfortable, have lower gas, need to burp, or simply, are sleepy.

You can watch the video here.

The musical connection: (via
"Already an exceptional violinist by the age five, [Priscilla] could hear a piece by Mozart once, then play it back in its entirety, note for note. Her father, Director of the Educational Testing Centre at the University of New South Wales, found that his young daughter had an eidetic memory - a rare photographic memory for sound.

"During her teenage years Priscilla toured throughout Europe and Australia as an accomplished concert violinist. Priscilla then spent more than 10 years exploring the world of opera, where her talent as a mezzo-soprano deepened her understanding of sound produced by the human voice.

"When Priscilla gave birth to her son Tomas, her instincts as a mother and musician led her to believe that a baby’s cries had to be something more than just random sounds. Noting combinations of sounds in a journal, Priscilla explored various settling techniques and observed Tom’s reactions. Eventually she was able to recognize patterns, and identify how specific cries had a distinct need attached to them."

Three ways you can build Sign & Sing enrollments

On Wednesday, you can find the Sign & Sing Session B Parent Email Databanks online in Teacher's Lounge. Educator, mentor, and this session's email writer Debby Long had some great suggestions about how you can help parents feel a stronger connection to the class.

  • Find signing resources in your community. Look in your community for listings about signing clubs, workshops, or classes in your area to continue your Education about signing. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people in your community who are interested in signing, and perhaps, in signing up for your class.
  • Start a signing playgroup. It could be as simple as putting out a piece of paper in your studio with a suggested time for parents get together for a “signing” playgroup. Then these families can together at the park, the museum, or the zoo, and help each other use sign language through out the play date.
  • Connect the learning to the next semester. Make a connection to the signs you're learning now, this semester, to the stories, learning theme, or musical concepts you'll be covering in a Kindermusik class next semester in your Village, Our Time, Imagine That! and Family Time class themes.

More love for Elisabeth Perotin

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wish list item #48: Socks

Only trouble is that this funky designer and sock-making company, Eley Kishimoto, is based outside the United States.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Funny thing about that list

It keeps getting longer every day.

When I changed over to Beta Blogger (which I like, oh so much Betta), I lost all my Kindermusik links. I'm just getting around to updating the list of active Kindermusik Educator bloggers.

If your blog is missing, please email and let me know!

And happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Gobble, gobble.

Is there a Ben Zander in there?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Online children's art gallery

The mouse-drawn pictures you see here are the point and click creations of two 6-year-old children in opposite corners of the world: Berlin, Germany, and Boston, Massachussets. Their pictures hang together on the user-generated walls of "Artroom, Where Kids Can Make & Display Art Online."

Here, children can draw, submit, even go back and edit their pictures online, and see their pretty pictures hang on the virtual hall of refrigerators around the world.
Makes me wish this was around in my Lite Brite days.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Something you may not know about me

We've started a game here at Kindermusik called "Know the EO" (Employee Owner), where once a week we film someone here sharing an otherwise odd fact you probably don't know. We showed the first five in a series today. Give it a few seconds between each person for the pause.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another reason I heart flickr

You can make this movie-style poster in less than 15 minutes. It's another thing I saw on Sean's blog (see previous post). You can make your own class flyers, posters, and more using photos from your class and fd flickr toys.

"Design is the new black"

I read that on Sean Coon's blog the other day, and I've been thinking about it. Especially since I'm such a fan of black.

Then today I pop over to Damien Rice's not so user-intuitive Web site, where I found a link promoting his new album, "Damien Rice 9." As an aside, the musical style of this Dublin-born singer-songwriter actually makes me feel, in the realest sense of the world, a simultaneous sense of uplift and wilt at the same time. An uplifting wilt, if you will.


When I checked out the new album's Web site, I saw the new black. Pushed myself back in my chair. Not over what I saw, but rather over the design of the site (Rice's lyrics are explicit, not the Web site, but then again time was when Huckleberry Finn's language was considered "explicit.")


The Web site is the new black, and a new kind of design that didn't overwhelm me with choices. I went there to hear the music and that's all the page did for me: play the music. And yes, I could have listened to the entire album on the Web site. For free. Instead, I went straight to iTunes and bought it before I even finished listening to the first song.
That's the thing. If something's brilliant, you don't have to worry about not getting anything back when you give it away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tölzer Knabenchor strikes Bach

Some people have their head in the clouds

Mine tends to hover more towards the stars. And while I'm finally nearing the end of a massive biography on Mark Twain, here is my where head hovers today:

"It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could 'a' laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course, it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was hove out of the nest."

- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dance of the Sugar Sun Fairy

Squeeze this sun and you’ll hear Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. With two krinkly-layers of sunbeam rays coming from the center of this warm, smiling sun face, and a clip on handle that doubles as a teething ring, you can easily attach this little guy to almost anything: strollers, diaper bags, and cribs.

Find more gifts you can give to your Kindermusik families--or yourself--this year for the holidays. Find new boomwhackers sets and caps, a duck-bill whistle, and more new items online in the Educator store.

Sign in.
Click "New Items."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Adam Sandler, I am truly sorry

"His voice is the sweetest sound I ever heard"

This little red haired boy is Horatio, and nephew to Jessi Hagood here at Kindermusik International. She took this picture.

I'd like to use it in some email marketing pieces we send to parents and was wondering: What would the headline be? Would the voice be his, or his parents? Would the headline be the parent's voice, talking about what her hopes are for him? Or is this picture a conversation between a parent and child? If they are sharing a musical moment, what does it sound like?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

English accents, children's music

That's a "Ninja Dinosaur" chasing a toy-stealing, card-playing king, pictured above. Put that dinosaur in a rocket ship and I know at least one child who would likely launch himself into outer space out of the sheer thrill (Xander). It's spot-on in sound, too, and one of the tracks on "Colours are Beautiful," the newest "Save a Child" musical compilation. Already this record redefines, once again, what "children's music" means.

With its feel-good sound, and feel-good mission, this newest offering features a Franz Ferdinand, "you-don't-stop" modern sound with brit-pop accents and a Monty Python's kind of storytelling that's innocent enough for the little bright eyes peering up at you as you sing along.

Also, on a bad blogger note: I'll admit to a serious case of the grumps, being away so long from blogging, exercising, and playing music over the last week. This album is lifting my spirits. I'll be playing guitar with the band again tonight. I went for a run this morning. But I'd do it all over again to meet you at the Kindermusik Convention.

Thanks for showing up, laughing in all the right places, and giving us enough to go on ... at least until next year's Convention ... all year long. I can't wait to blog about all the lovely things you'll blogs, and myspaces, and the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Neat, huh?

I've been wanting to change this blog look forever and blogger just made it very decently easy. Now if I could only figure out how to get rid of the little "tool" and "pencil" icons, I'd be a very happy girl.

"Mother and I"-pod: Halloween costumes

More fancy-schmancy and otherwise interesting offerings from the folks on "Project Runway" on

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A litttle of what you'll miss

(If you're not going to Convention this year, we hope to see you next year!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Kindermusik of Indianapolis--Outreach Videos

Jack, The Great Pumpkin

Online pumpkin carving activity for kids
Who I'm going to be this year for Halloween (Loretta Lynn or Jack White, I can't decide)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Okay, I was wrong

When Kindermusik first announced a new "personalized" CD project, I dare say, I dare say, I turned my nose.

Personlized music recordings for kids have about the same warmth and personality as a personalized operator-recording, saying you've reached a disconnected number.

We're sorry ... Molly .... the number you have reached is no longer in service.

So I sheepishly confess, I was wrong about this one. This one is different. I should have had more faith in the beginning. Also, a personal disclaimer: I'm singing "Old McDonald" and "It's Time to Clean Up." That also means I saw first-hand how dedicated the vocalists, sound engineers, and Executive Music Producer David Huff were from start to end.

The big pay-off came when an office-mate here, Angelica, said she played just the 30-second sound sample off the Web site for her daughter. "Her eyes lit up," said Angelica in her very light, lilting Italian accent. "She kept saying, again! Again!"

Give it a look and a see for yourself, here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gee, that's super nice

Plopped down today in front of the computer and found a nice surprise in my YouTube mail inbox: a note from a fellow Educator, blogger, and music maker from half-way around the world (He emailed to let me know my blog address was missing a dot).

Take a look for yourself on this kids music and early education blog called "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and all that." Pictured here is the blog's author, Devon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


We've had some boom-whacker sets laying around here at KI and I can't keep my hands off them. I first saw them a few years ago in an Orff class (one of the many musical learning method on which Kindermusik is based).

Know any fun boom-whacker activities? Send them to me:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rocket Kwip--Review before you launch

You may want to watch first, yourself. However, bears will be riding paper rocket ships.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Xander's (music) kwips

My hope is very soon to write Darcie's son Xander a rocket song. Haven't found it yet, but I did find this rocket-inspired instrument on this super-neat web site called the Oddmusic Gallery.

Hear the Rocket instrument
Click through a gallery pictures and sounds from other odd instruments

via Memorable Moments

I'm feeling unusually busy

Beauty tips by Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips
speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes
seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure
share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair
let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise
walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored,
renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand
you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mama got a new guitar

When I was sixteen, I got a dog the same way. Unsuspectingly I walked in to "look around" and fell in love. It was a similar feeling yesterday when I picked up this semi-hollow, tobacco-washed, Ibanez guitar. It just felt right.

It's also my first-ever guitar purchase. Since I started playing guitar at 15 years old, I've picked on the borrowed guitars of my brothers, my father, and supportive boyfriends. The electric-acoustic Fender I've been playing for the last 10 years was a freebie won at a raffle.

It feels like a new beginning for me. One that involves another crippling purchase: a killa amplifier.

Fine Arts Portal

Watch as Joshua Bell tells the story behind his stolen violin. Watch a gallery tour of the Collection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or visit the Museum of Modern Art. All part of a new Fine Arts Portal.

Violinist Joshua Bell
Agent for change Martin Luther King Jr.
Museum of Modern Art

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mr. CityMen

Mr. CityMen combines music, real film, and animation, and Gumby's cousins. Personally, I like the guitar man.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"The stories here are heartbreaking"

Kindermusik Educator Ginger Bennett spends one Saturday a month on a football field of a Jr. High School in Pearlington, Mississippi.

Here is why:

“Most of the United States is aware that New Orleans was damaged by Katrina, but to put things in proper perspective, consider that New Orleans lost about 6,200 homes while Mississippi lost almost 70,000.”

Pearlington, Mississippi -- Pearlington was a small community with about 900 homes. Since Katrina, only 3 homes managed to remain “livable.” The first comment most volunteers make when they come is, “It looks as if nothing has been done in the way of rebuilding.”

Most of the thousands of displaced people have no money to repair or replace their houses. They have not been well treated by their insurance companies (as I’m hoping you’ve heard on the news) and are waiting on promised rebuilding grants. I’ve only met three families who have received this grant money. Many people share a common story. What little money people collected from insurance was used to hire contractors. These contractors have since disappeared. Finding an honest contractor is not only difficult, but expensive. Since the need is tremendous, so is the price. Prices have gone up so much that people just can’t pay for all the necessary rebuilding.

What can you do to help? There are three main things you can do:
1. Prayer; keep the Mississippi coast in your daily prayer.
2. Send gift cards from Lowe’s, Home Depot or Wal-Mart. You can send these to my attention.
3. Send yourselves. We need workers.

A heart full of grace

Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King's speech, "The Drum Major Instinct."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Looking up new words

I had to look up the word "Indiana" and "Indianapolis" for this post.

Here comes two more words, not so easy either, but I can manage: "Minneapolis" and "Minnesota."

I'm in the middle of a three-day, travelling-filming project to the cities I can't spell very well. Michael Dougherty, Kindermusik's CEO, and for now, Audio Grip, wanted to film Kindermusik happening where it has the greatest impact, where it changes lives the most: In the places where children can't get it.

I'll post some of what I filmed next week in snippets. Otherwise, you'll have to see the full production at this year's Kindermusik Convention. We'll show the footage at the Thursday fund-raiser for the Children's Fund.

We're filming because it's hard to explain in any dictionary words, just what Kindermusik does for these children.

If I find the word, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'm kind of enjoying not knowing--for now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

From 30 to 180

This year, Kindermusik Educator Shirley Grossman is retiring from teaching. The Soundwave blog in her community wishes her a musical farewell. Click under the first picture and you can hear a sound sample from class.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Birds on Vimeo

It wouldn't be right to welcome new blogger Lori Burkhardt to the blogosphere without some sort of video hello. Her blog, Kindermusik with Lori Burkhardt, features all kinds of music and movement on film.

For a special treat: press play on her video, "Hush Little Baby,"and watch this sparkly birdie video.

Welcome Lori.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Eureka! Kindermusik tattoos!

What a great idea. Kindermusik tattoos. Now I can semi-permanently have Kindermusik on the brain.

Sonya Kempf of Aberdeen, South Dakota gives out these little temporary tattoos in class, and mailed some to us here in Greensboro the other day.

"Children are back for week 2 and they are showing me that tattoo! Precious!" Sonya writes.

Would you like some tattoos? Here is the contact Sonya used: She probably still has the logo.

Demonstration class produces new enrollment


From Michelle Jacques, Kindermusik of Cambridge, who, coincidentally, may be the first Kindermusik Educator with animation on her home page, and is also a new blogger in the blogosphere:

"About an hour before the demo started, a woman called me to ask if there was still room for her and her son -- I was a little hesitant as I already had 13 children and 6 families registered for the demo. However, she told me that she was supposed to have given birth two days ago and she was still waiting around, and she and her little guy needed a diversion.

I joked with her that she really just wanted me to help her start her labour with all the jumping and moving around we would do. Sure enough, 10 minutes into the class, immediately following the 'Jump with Me' verse of 'Hey, Betty Martin,' she left the room. This morning, I called her house to see if everything was alright and her mother-in-law answered to tell me she was at the hospital, ready to give birth at any moment. Her water had broken in our class and that's why she left! Isn't that cool?! I can't wait to talk to her again!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Spend now or later? Now.

  • As lawmakers look in to how to raise a more competitive, smarter workforce, they're asking, "Where will we get our biggest return on investment in education? Early in life, or later?" A new study suggests that spending more on a child's early childhood education yields a bigger return than money spent in the older years.

    Admittedly, papers like this come out every once in a while, so how are these findings different?

    "Although much research has been published on the value of positive early experiences, this paper pulls those strands together into an integrated message that the group hopes will help guide public policy in the future. They've already influenced legislation in Washington state and Nebraska and have begun working with lawmakers around the country with a nonpartisan partner, the National Conference of State Legislatures."

    What's it mean to you? A few more talking points with parents about why investing in a child's early education is one of the most important investments they can make.

  • A child's eventual ability to learn calculus or a second language, he explained, starts with the neurons that are shaped by positive interactions with nurturing adults.
  • As more and more unskilled jobs move overseas, the United States needs a well-educated work force to stay economically strong. Getting that work force means making sure more kids are able to benefit from their education; that means making sure their brains are well-prepared to learn.
  • "The key issue is the nature of kids' relationships with the important people in their lives. It's not about the toys, it's about the human connection," Shonkoff said.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Batting a flowered eyelash

The creator was a very ambitious puppeteer named Jim Henson.

A nod to the new Mollie Greene

Mollie Greene is home again.

After a short time drinking French-pressed coffee somewhere in the great midwest, and complaining about the heat like a Daisy in "The Great Gatsby" novel, Mollie Greene has packed up her two curly-haired boys, and four-leaf clover-picking husband, to come home.

“I can’t wait to get back to where people really care,” Mollie said, or something like that, a while ago over email.

That also means starting anew with her Kindermusik business. That means a new shingle, and in this day and age, that means a new blog.

A tip of the hat to you, Mollie, and your new blog: Poco a Poco.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ten years later, she still rocks with Kindermusik

Just today, Kindermusik Educator Theresa Case recieved this email from one of her former student's parents (pictured second from the left):

Theresa, I was looking through some old pictures recently and came across a picture of my daughter, Casey Wood, at Kindermusik class with you years ago. I don't know if you remember her - she's 13 years old now! I thought I'd contact you so you could know what a wonderful, positive influence all the years of Kindermusik were for Casey.

We recently moved to Kansas City (after a few other moves along the way) and Casey attends a music school here called ROCK U. She plays the bass guitar and gets to play in a real rock and roll band! She attends public school for the rest of her classes, but ROCK U is a unique environment that makes taking music lessons lots of fun!

She is a member of a band you can check out their web site at on There are some pictures so you can see what she looks like now! She is second from the left. They (and the rest of the students of ROCK U) just played their second concert for the public at the Hallmark Crown Center in downtown KC in front of 300-400 people.

I truly believe her love for music began during those wonderful Kindermusik classes so long ago. They are such great memories for us. It sounds like you and your business have done very well - I'm so happy for you! Again, thanks for inspiring a little girl so long ago!

Angie Leonhart
Casey's Mom

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Follow me to Kindermusik ... the movie

Follow me to Kindermusik on Vimeo

Tomorrow, look in your email inboxes for more ways to share this video with your families, or click the video screen and follow it to Vimeo. There, you can copy and paste the code to your blog, you Web site, or you can copy a link to send to your families.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I got mail

Every day I check the mailbox for something that isn't a bill, or some advertising thing, or some thing in general that I won't like at all.

Today was different.

I got an original art work by Xander of a jellyfish. And two more messages: Spaceship, and dinosaur. Hmmm. Wonder if that's what they call creative inspiration for new songs?

I hung the new artworks right by my Beatles postcard picture. I can see it there every day.

Thank you Xander.

True dat

Merry Meadow Music Maker

Click an instrument to play.
Wondertime online's activity pages.
Via InJoy Your Day

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Behind the music

The biggest difference between Kindermusik and other music and child development programs ... is in the music. We cross cultures, and countries, and languages. We collect, record, archive and distribute songs that literally have stood the test time. The tunes that were lovingly passed on one from generation to the next, one parent and child at a time, are still as relevant today.

We go to all this trouble collecting this music for a good reason: the children. Exposure to a wide variety of music is good for them. Here's why:

Greater language proficiency—Just as you read a variety of books to expand your child’s vocabulary, exposure to a wide variety of music and sounds expands your child’s “ear vocabulary.” High quality musical recordings and real instruments help your child “fine tune” her ear to recognize and imitate the sounds that make up words and language.

Spatial awareness—When a child listens to music, her mind perceives the sound in multi-dimensional ways. The sound is loud or soft, fast and slow, it moves up and down, and from left to right. Her mind and body work together to be “aware of space” when she walks through the living room and tries not to hit the coffee table. Much later, it’s a necessary skill for learning how to get around things, to jump, run, and move in zig-zag ways.

Temporal reasoning—You hear this skill in action when a preschooler tells a story. He starts with his own experience and then moves to some imagined place with a princess or a superhero then goes back to something real again. Music does the same thing. It goes back and forth between established spaces (the chorus) and to new places that take you somewhere else (the verse). The ability to go back and forth from something established to something imagined comes from temporal reasoning, a skill used in music writing, storytelling, and problem solving.

Emotional intelligence—With exposure to a greater variety of musical styles—like jazz, folk, or classical, this increased exposure to music increases a child’s awareness, and understanding of different moods and emotions.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

9/11: The man who walked between the towers

As the September 11 anniversary approaches, Scholastic releases this story and DVD, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and more inspiring tales.

Review by The Lovely Mrs. Davis
See the book

Stravinsky isn't on myspace

I've been thinking: If Kindermusik had a myspace, who would be its friend?




New blog: Music makes our world go round

I love the subhead, "Let the song in your heart be heard." And I love the city where Betsey, the blog's author, is from--Memphis, TN. They play soul music on the downtown sidewalks there. Hm, hmm.

It's a WordPress blog, and I admire those layouts and designs. The technicolor green masthead of a photo of a highway tunnel gives it an interesting edge of cool. Betsey is a photographer, too. But I'll let her introduce herself.

"I’m a blogger, country music fan, mom, Kindermusik educator, Hallmark-aholic and amateur photographer. Through this blog, I hope to inform, entertain, and just plain amuse. Enjoy the ride!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tiger Woods: Music and movement

Nike's new campaign featuring Tiger Woods, music, and movement could be your best sell with a doubting Thomas about the importance of early exposure to both.

Via Sean Coon.

Psst. All you business owners ... while you're on Sean's blog, check out his post on the importance of tagging photos in flickr with city, state, and contact information. A warning, though, Sean falls victim to a boy's fifth grade sense of humor, sometimes. It's bearable because it's sometimes funny and he's a visionary.

The gist is this: When you load photos flickr and include your contact information, then it's making it easier for people perusing the pretty pix to find your studio and enroll.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I know you now Cindy Walker

I turned 32 yesterday. I know. It's young. I also know it sounds either young or old depending on your distance from that number. It feels really young. Especially when wearing the too small, slip-on ruby slippers my mother gave me for the walk over the yellow-brick-road-wrapping paper she taped to the kitchen floor, I felt delightfully young. And celebrated.

My grown-up brothers and their wives and daughters and girlfriends wore cheap, plastic sherriff's stars as party favors, in honor of my Dodge City, Kansas roots.

Those stars dangled from their collars as we ate smoked salmon on brown bread with capers and a spinach and strawberry salad. I slurped coffee, coffee, coffee as I unwrapepd the presents, and saw the way I look through my family's eyes. A journal, a certificate explaining the story behind my Irish last name, a DVD copy of the "Wizard of Oz," the Real Simple magazine subscription, and music. A mix of Irish and Kansas rose up in me like a sentimental tornado.

Then I opened one of the last presents and found her: Cindy Walker. Released on the Lost Highway label, You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker is a collection of her songs sung by Willie Nelson. On the ride home from Raleigh, NC I played it over and over and made peace with my soul, and how sometimes my heart feels like a broken record, like it skips, and aches a little more most people's. It's also why I choose my own company and a guitar over a crowd.

I hope, no matter how old or young I get, that that never changes.